Explaining the narrative – from Poland to the Underworld

Phew!  So glad to be home from the Hourglass Ensemble’s big Polish tour, where Ewa and I collaborated with Anna Mrutkowska-Schock (piano) and Malwina Lipiec (harp), both professors at the Academy of Music in Wroclaw – exporting recent and premiere pieces by Andrew Ball, Carl Vine, Colin Brumby, Kris Spike, and me.

JOURNEY TO THE UNDERWORLD is our next tour, joining with Barega Saxophone Quartet from Queensland as we did in 2014, for shows in Brisbane (St Andrews Southbank) on 24 July and Sydney (Utzon Room) on 31 July.  The title comes from a world premiere of Andrew Ball’s new piece for flutes, clarinets, and saxophone quartet.  We have been perfecting our own parts and are very excited to hear it all for the first time next Friday at rehearsal in Brisbane!

HGE Barega 570w 320h second

Andrew Ball does tend to write highly explicitly narrative music, this time addressing mythological aspects of the afterlife, and how they are represented in ancient Greek, Egyptian, Celtic, Nordic and Chinese legends.  But it’s not only him that tells exotic stories with music – Margery Smith’s premiere work is “Fly Away”, about when you just want to scream, bash your hand on the wall, and escape!  And my new piece, “Sunken City”, is about a real Atlantis, the city of Port Royal, Jamaica, that was consumed by the ocean in an earthquake in 1904.  There are other Australian composers to be presented, Gilmour, Lam, and Garton, before adding a few of our foreign favourites – Ligeti, Piazzolla, and best of all Ginastera, with a very pastoral and poetic sonic description of the Argentinian grasslands, “Impresiones de la Puna” for solo flute with saxophone quartet.

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